The Rusty Nail is a cocktail you’ve probably heard of (who may overlook a reputation like that?) however could not have tried. Let’s repair that! With a smoky base and a candy, honeyed liqueur associate, this 2-ingredient cocktail makes a pleasing nightcap or pre-dinner drink.
Growing up, I noticed the Rusty Nail as a fixture on the poker desk the place my uncles, grandfathers, and their buddies would collect. Enjoyed over ice, this boozy cocktail was served robust and solely within the night hours. I’d argue it nonetheless makes for a terrific wind-down drink.
With its smoky scotch base, sweetened barely with Drambuie—a scotch-based liqueur with a robust spiced honey taste which additionally boasts an ABV of 40% (the identical share as most liquors)—the Rusty Nail is greatest loved over ice, sipped slowly to curb its boozy punch.
History of the Rusty Nail
This easy pairing of scotch and Drambuie has been a preferred tipple courting way back to the Thirties—albeit in barely completely different proportions and with a number of further components that got here and went relying on who was making the drink.
The trendy, 2-ingredient model of the recipe was firmly established by the Nineteen Sixties and grew right into a bar mainstay within the Nineteen Seventies. As with many cocktails that had their heyday within the 70s, the Rusty Nail withdrew from the highlight throughout the 80s and 90s and have become one thing of a relic. But don’t let that forestall you from making this basic drink.
The Key Ingredients
Drambuie’s very wealthy honey taste can be frivolously spiced with herbs like anise, clove, and saffron. Pairing it with a bold, smoky scotch offers stability to its candy taste.
While a blended scotch is all the time greatest for mixing, they don’t all carry out the identical right here. A really gentle scotch received’t present the distinction wanted—I’d lean in the direction of a smokier scotch for a richer expertise. Try The Famous Grouse Smoky Black for a terrific stability of smoke with a clean style.
Upgrade Your Rusty Nail Cocktail
If you’re seeking to additional spherical out the drink and add one other layer of spicy taste right here, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters will subtly stability the drink. Is it crucial? No, however simply as salt will improve and stability your meals, fragrant bitters can actually punch up a drink’s taste with out drawing consideration to itself.
You may squeeze (or “express” in bar phrases) a 1/2-inch huge piece of lemon peel over the drink to present only a contact of floral aroma to the drink and brighten it up.